Things that are things.

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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Anglerphobe » Fri May 04, 2018 7:23 pm

One evening about two weeks ago I was out running near my home and I ended up behind another jogger. I was going slightly faster than him, so I passed him. A little while later, I became aware of someone stepping in my footprints right behind me, and it turned out to be the guy I had overtaken a few minutes earlier, back for revenge. He was going quickly now and about to come level with me, so I increased by speed to stay ahead of him.
So began the game. Shortly after that he came up on me again and I had to go even faster. He crossed the road at one point and was running alongside me, but I managed to cut him off going uphill. After about ten minutes we were both sprinting hell for leather down the road, eyeing each other in our peripheral vision and trying to second guess the other's moves. I managed to stay ahead all the way back until he eventually gave up and turned off on a different path. I got home exhausted from basically sprinting all the way back from the midpoint of my run. The next week it happened again, but I lost just as narrowly as I had won the first time.
This evening, we passed each other going in different directions, and both kind of smirked. I was about to wheel around and run past him, but the adult in me won out.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Windy » Sat May 05, 2018 12:15 am

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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Aquila89 » Mon May 07, 2018 9:30 pm

I tried to read about the bikini in the New York Times digital archive (how it was first received). But it was named like that because of the recent nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll, so I got a lot of articles from 1946 about the tests. The word "bikini" makes us think of swimwear now, so a lot of those headlines sound like people back then were really horny:

"11 Nations Invited to the Bikini Test" (May 8, 1946)

"Bikini Rehearsal Staged by Robots" (May 10, 1946)

"Toward the Bikini Climax" (May 26, 1946)

"Bad Weather Delays Bikini Rehearsal" (June 23, 1946)

"Bikini Cost Tops $70,000,000" (June 30, 1946)

"Bikini Experiment Enthralls Britain" (July 1, 1946)

"Scientists Imperil Lives to Save Photos of Bikini" (July 5, 1946)
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As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Krashlia » Tue May 08, 2018 11:40 pm

Steven Universe? What the heck. The wildest fan theories were right.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Paradox » Thu May 10, 2018 3:55 pm

So, there was this sentence on my exercise sheet: 我的孩子不说鳄鱼, which would translate to "my kid doesn't speak crocodile."

The people on the Chinese subreddit tried to help me make sense out of it but they agreed it was a very odd sentence. It could mean "my child doesn't speak about crocodiles," but it would be still a weird way to phrase it.

Then it dawned on me. 鳄鱼, crocodile, is pronounced "èyú", very similar to 俄语 (Russian), "èyǔ."

Why is this on the rant thread? Because fuck Pearson.

(…I thought I was posting this to the rant thread)
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby LaoWai » Thu May 10, 2018 9:09 pm

Paradox, that's even a weird sentence if it's 俄语 instead of 鳄鱼...usually you'd add a 会, 能 or 在 to the sentence to make it make sense. ("My child can't speak Russian"--second, basically the same--or "My child isn't speaking Russian." You could also add a comma or a 呀...我的孩子,不说俄语/我的孩子呀不说俄语. ("Child of mine, don't speak Russian!)

"Oh, oh, oh, sweet child of mine...do-o-o-o-o-on't speak crocodile."
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Paradox » Fri May 11, 2018 8:28 pm

LaoWai wrote:Paradox, that's even a weird sentence if it's 俄语 instead of 鳄鱼...usually you'd add a 会, 能 or 在 to the sentence to make it make sense. ("My child can't speak Russian"--second, basically the same--or "My child isn't speaking Russian." You could also add a comma or a 呀...我的孩子,不说俄语/我的孩子呀不说俄语. ("Child of mine, don't speak Russian!)

"Oh, oh, oh, sweet child of mine...do-o-o-o-o-on't speak crocodile."

Well, that sentence was an answer to the question 你的孩子说鳄鱼吗?

Isn't 在 to be used to indicate places only?
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby LaoWai » Sat May 12, 2018 12:56 am

Not at all. 在 is often short-hand for 正在 in spoken Chinese, 正在 being, effectively, the present progressive tense. So if you wanted to ask if someone's joking, you might say 你在开玩笑呢? (呢 is better than 吗 there, for reasons I don't really know how to explain.) In this context, it's pretty much universal. You can also do much more common sentences like 我在散步 (I'm strolling) or 我在吃饭 (I'm eating). At least in the mainland, these are all very common.

The 你的孩子说鳄鱼吗? example sounds a bit odd...well, because it's "crocodile" for one, but more importantly if most speakers I encounter dropped the 会 from the question, they'd definitely also drop the 的: 你孩子说鳄鱼吗 vs 你的孩子会说鳄鱼吗?

Honestly, I mostly just hear people drop the 说 and say 你的孩子会鳄鱼吗? (Or, more or less, since not that many people speak crocodile.) 会 is pretty much the perfect stand-in for 说/听懂/看/写 in the context, and "Can you Chinese/English/etc.?" is pretty common.

Regarding 在, in my experience, there's also a rather cutesy 小姐 sort of speaking where 在 gets added to sentences that don't really need it: 啊,你在这饭馆儿,在看书,咯! (Notice the dropping of the count-word and the excessive exclamatory sounds--very 小姐--and sickeningly 可爱.)

It seems to be more a southern thing than a northern one, but I have known a few 西安 women who talked this way, too (in at least one case, much to my regret).
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Paradox » Sat May 12, 2018 1:40 am

I'm still on my first semester of Mandarin, though. I'm still learning how things work "by the book", so to speak. The only count word I can use is 个. I'm happy enough I can recognize most of the characters you wrote.

I guess i shall take crocodile classes next.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby DoglovingJim » Sat May 12, 2018 6:22 am

Paradox wrote:I'm still on my first semester of Mandarin, though. I'm still learning how things work "by the book", so to speak. The only count word I can use is 个. I'm happy enough I can recognize most of the characters you wrote.

I guess i shall take crocodile classes next.

Huh, I didn't realise you were learning Mandarin. That's actually pretty awesome, reminds me that I should be trying to practicing another language too (was learning Hungarian but got sidetracked).

Is Mandarin difficult?
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby cmsellers » Sat May 12, 2018 11:10 am

DoglovingJim wrote:Is Mandarin difficult?

The Foreign Service rates it at the highest difficulty level, with Korean, Japanese, and Arabic. Unlike those three languages, it has a fairly simple grammar. However also unlike those three languages, it's a tonal language, which tends to be difficult for people who aren't used to tonal languages, though it's not as tricky in that regard as Cantonese. But the big difficulty with any Chinese language is the writing system. You need to learn several thousand characters to read at a high school level, and many of them are quite complex.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Paradox » Sat May 12, 2018 5:49 pm

Honestly, the only difficulties about Chinese are the writing script and the tones. I'm not going to say I know all the characters yet, but I know enough I can make sense out of some simpler sentences. I have only been studying Chinese since January this year.

The tones are much easier to grasp than most people believe.

Chinese syntax is very straightforward.

Honestly, I'd say Hungarian is much more hellish to learn.

Either that or crocodile.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby cmsellers » Sat May 12, 2018 6:32 pm

I find grammar really easy, personally. Tones, not so much. I have never been able to pronounce a single word in Mandarin or Cantonese correctly.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Aquila89 » Sat May 12, 2018 7:46 pm

DoglovingJim wrote:Huh, I didn't realise you were learning Mandarin. That's actually pretty awesome, reminds me that I should be trying to practicing another language too (was learning Hungarian but got sidetracked).


Mandarin certainly would be more useful.
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Re: Things that are things.

Postby Krashlia » Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am

I got it! All my problems have been solved!

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